Farmers only

Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
Trip End Mar 29, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  , Roi Et,
Thursday, August 19, 2010

I am not for one minute including myself amongst the farmers only heading I should point out !!!
Go out to the farm in the late afternoon and help Jai's nephew Tia with some ploughing using the 'iron buffalo'.  These small tractors have replaced the erstwhile beast of burden that they are named after.  Any buffaloes around here now are strictly for meat.  They are just preparing the land to plant manioc/cassava which is one of the few real cash crops that they can grow here.  The money it yields isnt great but ...  Jai goes to check out the rice and finds that it has a 'fly' which isnt welcome at all.
I have been asked about what the cows are like here so I attach a photo.  The price of cattle is right down at the moment but I have no idea how it compares to the UK or elsewhere.  The 2 cows in the photo are about 7 months old and would sell for about 55GBP.  When fully grown they still wouldnt have much meat on them but would retail at about 100GBP.  Most of the farms in the village have 2 or 3 cows but rarely any more than that.  Jai's brother has just sold his so that he could build a bathroom and toilet block on the back of his house so the family do not have any at the moment.  The cost of keeping them, especially if you have someone take care of them for you, almost eats up all the profit margin and there doesnt seem to be any money it at all from my perspective.  We definitely wont be buying cows !!  A few people have pigs and they seem a much better option for cash return.
Khamnadie has its own village market on a Tuesday and Saturday evening when the locals gather to sell their own produce,.  Today sees the first Thursday evening market on a new site on the far side of the village, under a roof, on concrete with electric and water on tap - very posh, better than some of the houses !!  We have to go and check it out as Jai has a mind to sell cakes later on.  The market has not received much publicity and is very quiet tonight.  With our week in Laos not very far away now we will leave things until our return and see if they have picked up before launching into the catering business.
Stop to visit Jai's garnd daughter on our way home and scrounge some flowers from their neighbour.
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